Saturday, November 6, 2010


Have you ever met Valentine, our Standard Poodle? We bought her seven years ago or so, and like a crazy idiot, I was supposed to train her to be a therapy dog for Sophie. I drove to San Diego (two hours away) every other weekend for a one-day training class. I did that for about six months, and then I couldn't do it anymore. Valentine became a family dog. She is impossibly people-oriented and lives to be loved. She does 360s when we walk in the front door and hasn't calmed down one bit over the years. She's "of average intelligence" for her breed, according to the trainer we took her to for behavior some years ago, which was really just a nice way to say that she's not "that bright." Poodles are supposed to be one of the smartest breeds of dogs out there, but she's more human-like than intelligent, I think. Oliver adores her, in particular and has no problem giving her kisses on her mouth. I love her for her simplicity but  her clicking toenails on the hardwood floor drive me nuts. I think she's really cute, but I also think she's a pain in the ass.


  1. Perhaps the Valentines of this world can get by with simply being superloving. For a therapy dog, it could be a bit of a problem, I agree, but perhaps Valentine's gift of therapy IS love. Just looking at that face makes me smile!

  2. I've never been a fan of poodles but I have to say Valentine is very cute. Maybe she'll change my mind.

  3. All dogs are very cute, IMO. And all dogs are a PITA. Also in my opinion. And I would not have it any other way. I love Poodles. I grew up with German Shepherds & Poodles. The little ones. Poodles that is. They do like people and they are smart enough to not care what any two-legger thinks of their intelligence.

    So for many years I have decided to hit my head against a very hard wall and hook myself to hounds. I think Valentine is smarter for her breed than I am for mine. *sigh* BTW, she is very cute. I appreciate her fluffy face.

  4. I had a white standard poodle who was indeed incredibly smart and would have liked a service dog for herself. I was her service person. I bathed, trimmed and brushed her and kept her toenails short---no tap tap tap on the floor. Valentine looks very sweet.

  5. Sounds like the perfect dog to me.


  6. I feel the same way about my damn/blessed poodles. Okay, they are poodle-MUTTS. But still.

  7. In intend to find myself a small poodle(ish), wire or curly coated (I am allergic), small sweet mutt/doggie to keep me company and be my therapy dog... once my damned degree is done and I have the time to love a dog.

    And I agree, they are a pain in the butt and you've reminded me how much I hate the sound of click click click on the hardwood floors...

    but I'm still getting one.

  8. Don't get me started with terms like "average intelligence."

  9. my mom has a Standard, a black one- they are very particular funny dogs!
    Valentine is a doll. How does Sophie like her?



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